By John Lee.
The board of Petrel Resources has reluctantly accepted the resignation with immediate effect of Guy Delbès (pictured), who was instrumental in bringing the company to Iraq.
A statement from the company continued:
"Following his 84th birthday Guy is seeking to reduce his business interests.
"A former French diplomat, Guy Delbès has served with distinction on the Board of Petrel Resources plc since 2000. His energy and optimism belie his five decades of Middle East experience.
"A fluent Arabic speaker, Guy facilitated the Company's entrance into the Iraqi Oil Industry. Throughout the period of sanctions and conflict, he operated in hazardous and challenging environments without complaint and displayed a quiet courage that calmed everyone he worked with.
"He led from the front, travelling in Baghdad and elsewhere during the worst of the issues in-country. He was always courteous, exuding an air of experience and agreeable authority that calmed nervous young militia at check-points.
"The Company will be appointing a replacement non-executive Director on or before 8th February 2012."
(Source: Petrel Resources)